Hope for the Weary Review Addict

This community, where many congregate like birds of prey, committing pages upon pages into the paperless abyss, encompasses vast virtual-shelves wherein perch - not books, but – writers' hopes. Did you hear that gentle flutter as you clicked on page 335 of the humor section? That was the sound of myriads of expectations discarded to the winds.

Is there one who pleads for a moment of silence to reflect on the plight of the halfway meritorious works? Is there one who has the true capability of defending the cause of the genuine writer? Is there one who raises the stories of interest above the cesspool of idiocy, gathering the shattered fragments of inspiring compositions embodying imagination and some degree of intellect? Yes! It is you. YOU are the one.

Okay, not really. It just sounded good. Actually, it takes a bunch of reviewers. So, just forget about making any difference. Instead, it might be more advantageous to drive your fellow review addicts to their defeat in a more efficient manner. Here are some ways to expedite the process:

Unwording: Using terms in your reviews that seem like words but really aren't. Tip: Position them so that the author cannot be sure whether it is a compliment or a criticism.

Ex: "This was so flambegious." - If the author responds, "That is not a word," know that you have made a difference in that writer's life; he/she actually used a dictionary today.

Name Contortion: Calling the main character of the story by a different name. This can be especially effective when more than one reviewer participates. Tip: Keeping the new name slightly similar to the original makes it less conspicuous.

Ex: "I think Herbert (Hector) has a strong personality."

Chapter Shuffling: Reviewing the wrong chapter… multiple times in one story.

The Maddening Chapter: Randomly hitting a chapter, omitting to read the rest of the story. Tips: Leave multiple hits for the one chapter only, no reviewing necessary. The writer can then contemplate the mystery of why that chapter received so many more hits.

Disclaimer: Do not try this at home. The above list was discovered by an anonymous contributor who absolutely did not use any of them. They might have come from the back of a cereal box.